Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
When the closing bell rang today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 23 points, or 0.15%, while the S&P 500 had increased 0.36% and the Nasdaq was higher by 0.37%. The moves come as we begin to slow down on the earnings front and investors start thinking about the upcoming shopping holiday season, the fourth quarter, and full-year results, as well as how economic data in the coming weeks and months may affect the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing programs.
After hearing comments from the president of the the St. Louis Federal Reserve today, many now believe the $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program won't slow down until sometime in early 2014, but others feel it should and will happen sooner if the jobs market improves. With that in mind, this Friday's jobs number will be an important one and could give us a better idea of what the central bank may do.
Winners and losers
One of today's biggest market losers was BlackBerry (NYSE:BB), which fell 16.41%. The drop comes as the company announced that a preliminary offer to buy the company at $9 per share fell through and it never found another suitor to sell to -- and now it's changing CEO's. The company has also been given a $1 billion investment but will remain independent and will change a few board members. The news is rather bad for current shareholders, as it indicates that no one really thinks too much of the company and that the previous $9-per-share offer was considered too high. After this news broke, a number of analysts quickly moved in and trashed the stock, which also probably helped devalue the stock price. BlackBerry's road to prosperity will surely be a long, rough one, if it ever returns to prosperity at all. Investors should get out while they can and stay away until the company proves itself.
While BlackBerry investors didn't have a good day, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shareholders did. Shares rose 1.17% this afternoon, possibly prompted by the BlackBerry news -- after all, there may soon be one less competitor in the smartphone market for Microsoft and its Windows Phone. While both BlackBerry's and Microsoft's market shares are small when compared with Apple's or Google's, if Microsoft can capture some of BlackBerry's fleeing customers, Microsoft just might be able to turn its Nokia handset acquisition into a rewarding bet.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what causing the big market movers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513.
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